January 27 - Is He Unjust? (Romans 9:14-24)
Prepare for Sunday morning worship by using the guide below.
Come Praise and Glorify
God over All
Holy Holy Holy
His Mercy Is More
Nik Lingle and Phillip Taylor will continue teaching a series on How the Church Works. This class will be at 10:00am in the Youth Room.
14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.19 You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
Following the staggering promises of God in Romans 8, Paul answered the question many in this multi-ethnic church were asking, ‘has God’s word failed since the majority of Israel has rejected his Messiah’ Or why have so many Jews rejected the Messiah while many Gentiles have believed on the Son of God? Did his word fail? His answer was an emphatic, no. The promises of God are solid and sure. We found that the promises of God given in the OT were not given to all Israel, as in the physical descendants of Abraham, but to the children of promise. The children of promise are those who have been elect of God to believe in the Messiah. These are the true Israel and they inherit the promises of God, those who have been freely chosen by God, for his purposes, not based on works or lineage but only by his sovereign design alone. We saw this as God chose Jacob and not Esau even before they were born. But are we sure that Paul meant to say this? Perhaps we are misunderstanding or misinterpreting this passage. If this election is true, then we should not be surprised regarding the uproar from the crowd. You can almost hear them protest, 'Is there injustice on God’s part?' Why does he still find fault for who can resist his will? Paul anticipates these protests and answers. While I question whether his answers will satisfy our powers of reason, they do instruct us on a God well beyond our imagination, one with immeasurable power and glory. Let us ask God for humility and grace as we look at this hopeful and breathtaking passage.
Review and Apply
Why does Paul ask the question in verse 14?
What would be the outcome if God was completely "just?"
Does God's love demand that he save everyone? Support answer with Scripture.
What do you learn about salvation from verse 16?
What does it mean that God "hardens whomever he wills?"
What would you say to a person who says, "I guess I am not of the elect."
What do you learn about God from verse 18?
How does this change your approach to him in worship?
What is the lesson in the metaphor of the clay speaking to the potter asking, "why have you made me like this?"
How does this change your view of God? And your view of yourself?
How will this change your view of others?
What are the benefits of God's free and sovereign election?
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